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CAVU Café: Royboy’s Prose & Cons

*Note: The views expressed in CAVU Café: Royboy’s Prose & Cons blog are those solely of the writer and are not necessarily shared by the Aviation Suppliers Association or the Association’s staff, members, or Board of Directors.

 

   About Roy Resto

 

Things People & Firms Say They Do in Our Industry but…

Ok, time to wax cynical and poke fun at some non-performers in the aerospace and aviation industry.


Ah, the tyranny of the ‘but’ word. ‘But’ is a conjunction used to introduce something contrasting with what has been already mentioned. Anticipation of the ‘but’ word most of the time makes us cringe. For example, ‘Joe you’re a good worker but…’ oh no, here it comes, the compliment- criticism strategy. Really now, is it worth anything at all to the listener to hear that compliment? Probably not, especially when followed by the ‘but’ word. Management mentors would suggest that use of the compliment-criticism is too blunt and ineffective. The compliment-neutral transition/positive reinforcement-coaching strategy might be more palatable, e.g. ‘Joe you’re a good worker but we have suggestions for improvement to make you a star performer.’ Hmm, nice landing boss as you prepare to jolt me. Speak of jolting, there are some things in our industry which people or firms say they do, but…


24/7/AOG SERVICE

Really? This is an overused claim in the aviation support sector. What it really means (at 2am your time) is that you’ll take the information (while assuring the caller that you’ll get right on it) but (there’s that word) really get to it at the first opportunity of regular working hours. At worst it means that you have 24/7 voicemail capability which someone will access during regular working hours. Oh, you got the hot call but have no inventory? Hopefully the source of the part you intend to call has a genuine 24/7 AOG capability; good luck with that.


As a young Supervisor over two avionics shops at a major airline, I recall the 24/7 AOG service we had to give to our internal airline customer and our external customers who used us for repair and overhaul services. During the week it seldom was an issue since we had 2 and 3 shift services for the shops, but during the weekends the supervisors rotated having ‘weekend duty coverage’. Friday afternoon you’d sign out the ‘briefcase’ which was prepared that day. It had the latest seniority lists of all the technicians, contact phone numbers, and a dedicated pager (yes those are still used today for critical applications). If I got a call it was from Maintenance Operations Control, usually.  the AOG desk. You had all the resources and authority to get people into the shops to get the product out, and yes, pity the poor fellow on Monday who might have to explain an unfulfilled need. That was indeed 24/7 AOG service.


Excuses for saying you have the service but not living up to it varies and are well rehearsed. Royboy’s counsel is that if you’re an operator and considering signing on with a service provider, don’t sign anything until you’ve made a test call at 3am Sunday morning. The results will surprise you.

 

YOUR INVENTORY

You list inventory on public websites as if you actually had the parts but you don’t. On the other hand you know who certainly does have it, but you list it in your name in the hope that you, instead of them will get the call. When you get the call you simply place an immediate order to the source (there were two buts in this one…).


MISSION STATEMENT

There are a few blue-chip companies which are absolutely driven and consumed by their mission statement; in fact that’s what contributed to their being classed as a ‘blue-chip’ performer. The military is 100% mission driven. Your rank, promotions, awards, and decorations are all dependent on your contribution to attainment and sustainment of the mission.  For these reasons it’s surprising how many firms have hollow mission statements. You see the statements in manuals, banners, and marketing channels. The problem is there’s no follow-up, targeted metrics, or performance accountability; in short, the mission statement is Papier-mâché window dressing designed to mostly impress outsiders.


I recall when creating a mission statement was quite a deal. It might have involved a weekend retreat with key employees and a professional facilitator. After the meeting room was impressively plastered with post-it posters of draft statements (which made you feel quite productive), the group arrived at the pinnacle consensus mission statement with the requisite oohs and ahhs; this, while you all stared in wonderment at the creation.  This was followed by the trumpeted roll out and broadcasting of the statement on shiny wood and brass plaques posted in high visibility areas…to be quickly forgotten.

Maybe you really meant it when you said it but…

 

STATEMENTS ABOUT QUALITY

It’s expected and quite fashionable to make grand statements about corporate policy regarding the quality of its products. Do you want to know who really lives up to their quality policies? Just ask the receiving inspectors at any firm and you’ll get an ear full of those who don’t. I guarantee that the firms being cited by those inspectors have impressive grandiose statements purporting to support quality as if their very life depended on it, but…

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE

The quality of customer service seems inversely proportional to the size of the firm. Cynical perhaps, but it seems to apply to many firms. You can order that car in any color as long as it’s black (a famous quote from when Ford Model T’s were the dominant car). Many times the big supplier hubris seems directly tied to the amount of exclusive distribution rights they have; you can’t get it from anyone but me and you’ll like it…

The biggest complaint I hear is how big suppliers treat small customers. Those big suppliers no doubt have avowed policy to treat all customers fairly and equally, but…  

 

PEOPLE WHO SAY THEY’RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING

Of all the areas I have cited in the article, without question the biggest source of disappointment is when someone says they are going to do something but don’t. I’m sure in fact, that when they said it they meant it, but time fly’s by and guess what? Zip, nada. I charitably attribute this to poor management skills. Purveyors of this behavior are chronic, and particularly skilled at making excuses.  I’ve seen this same pattern among persons who are habitually late, but that’s a topic for another time.

 Don’t say you’re going to do something unless you’re organized to do so. If you get sidetracked by other priorities, let the other person know. This always impresses them; you’re on your game. Remember, you may have forgotten the topic, but the other person has not. Most of the time they’ll be polite and not bother you with the issue, but they’ve mentally written you off as unreliable. Just sayin…

 

ROAD RUNNER ACME AERONUATICS MISSION STATEMENT

We shall deliver unsurpassed quality supported by unrivalled customer service, 24/7.

“And I’ll get you that information by COB Tuesday…” but of course…

 

Over ‘n out

Roy ‘Royboy’ Resto

www.AimSolutionsConsulting.com

Posted By Roy Resto | 10/2/2017 12:23:18 PM
 

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